30 Seconds Over Coburg
Ok, it might have been a little longer than 30 seconds, but that’s how it felt. A couple of weeks ago I went with a friend to a typical Melbourne northern suburb (Coburg) while they were running a quick errand.
I was sitting in the car waiting and killing time in the usual way (Instagram), when I thought to myself, “the light is pretty good right now, I should get out and take a few shots while I wait”. So I jumped out and went down to the closest intersection to find a good location to shoot.
On the way there I walked past a bus stop with a few people standing around. I spotted an interesting looking old guy “Click“, got him. Not a great shot – just warming up. Someone else walks past, “Click“, got him as well – still warming up though. I find with street photography that it takes me a few shots to get into it and to work up the courage to take photos of strangers.Some days it doesn’t happen at all – the mojo just isn’t there. I think the first few shots are critical, you need to take them without thinking about it too much, otherwise forget about it, you might as well go home.
Coburg – Bus Stop
I get to the intersection and stand out the front of a Kebab place, the light is nice and there are some people in there who look like they are about to come out. Two Muslim girls with hijabs on (always seems to make an interesting photo) come out the doorway. Girls number 1. “Click” got her – nice. Girl number 2. “Click” she looks down – not to worry.
I look around this spot for a while because I’m really enjoying the light. Next thing someone on a bike comes along on the sidewalk. He’s too close to get him but I notice his reflection in the Kebab shop window, “Click” got him – I think – hard to tell at that speed.
Coburg – Kebab Shop
Nothing much else happening so I walk a couple of shops down to Tram stop on Sydney Rd. There are a few people waiting around and I notice a women standing against a shop front which happens to be a Lottery outlet. She really looks like she could do with winning one of the prizes so it creates a nice juxtaposition, “Click” “Click“, two shots – just to be sure.
Coburg – Lottery Shop
I go back to the intersection and start looking for some more action. I notice a Hotel across the road that is painted yellow and I think that I can get some good shadow shots on the walls if someone comes along. When I get over there I notice that there is a courtyard that faces out onto the street along one side. This is for the smokers – who are no longer allowed to smoke indoors. The courtyard is fenced off from the street with bars and wire. The sun is hitting the wires and it looks like it could make a good shot. The guys who are drinking in the courtyard look like they wouldn’t be out of place in a prison yard. I do one walk by, checking out the place and then I come back and start shooting. I take a couple of shots at different points along the courtyard and I’m attracting the attention of a couple of the punters who don’t seem to appreciate being on camera. Thankfully they are behind bars.
Coburg – Moreland Hotel (Smoking section)
Just then my friend calls, they’re not happy, “where the hell are you, and why have you left my car unlocked and unattended”. So I head back up to the car with the satisfaction of knowing I’ve got some usable shots on my camera roll.
As we start to drive off there is a car crash out the front of a budget hotel – gold. I ask my friend to pull over for a second so I can grab a shot out the window (their patience with me is starting to wear thin). “Click”, got it – not great but a nice little bookend to my time in Coburg.
Coburg – Hotel Dolma (Rooms from $69)
So in the space of about 10 to 15 minutes I’ve managed to grab a little slice of Coburg life with my iPhone on a trip that I would never have thought to take a camera along to. That’s pretty special, that’s the power of mobile photography. So whether its your daily commute to work, your lunch break, or killing 15 minutes in Coburg – there is always an opportunity to capture a story.
All shots taken with iPhone 4s using Hipstamatic